I Am St Nick: Douglas VanHouten

The community of St. Nicholas has changed my life. I’ve always felt that since most of time and energy is spent outside our church walls, most of our ministry happens outside those walls as well. However, my truth is that the community of St. Nicholas informs how I live “the other six days.”

I am inspired to be a better person when I watch Earl make someone completely welcome in acts as simple as walking over to get a bulletin for someone who didn’t take one upon entering.

I am reminded to live a bit more carefree when I witness our children–at their place of honor in church–simply enjoying being together and, without thought, sharing the materials provided for their common use.

I am mindful of the need to share the talents I have been given when I watch Bob step up to share his voice with the choir, and when I see Garrison and Jess faithfully join in choir practice.

I am motivated to serve others in my daily life–in even basic human acts such as holding open a door for another weary commuter at the train station–when I watch Scott, Eve, Cindy, Bob, Jay, Manny and others in action caring for our guests at the Holy Innocents Food Pantry.

I am humbled when I see the warm welcome Manny gives people during the week as they come to St. Nicholas seeking a safe place, shelter, a kind ear, and most of all a reminder that God loves them.

St. Nicholas is not a building. St. Nicholas is the spirit in the air in the walls of our building – a spirit palpable outside our walls. St. Nicholas is you. St. Nicholas is the person who seeks that reminder that God loves them. St. Nicholas is every guest at our Food Pantry. St. Nicholas is our music.

I am St. Nick. And, as such, I am also responsible for taking a share in everything written about above.


Douglas VanHouten

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